Running along the crest of a ridge to the north of Princes Street in Edinburgh, George Street remains the centre of the city's financial district despite several institutions moving to the periphery. Laid out from 1767 as part of James Craig's great plan for the New Town, George Street was named in honour of King George III. The street links Charlotte Square with St. Andrew's Square and is the site of several notable buildings including the Assembly Rooms (1787), St Andrew and St George's Church (1784) and others by David Rhind (1808-83) and David Bryce (1803-76) which were previously the headquarters of banks, such as the grand melange of Greek and Roman styles which now houses the Dome bar and night-club (1847).
Notables such as politician Sir John Sinclair of Ulbster (1754 - 1835), authors Sir Walter Scott (1771 - 1832) and Kenneth Grahame (1859 - 1932), both born here, and artist Sir Henry Raeburn (1756 - 1823) have made their homes in George Street.
Three statues stand on intersections along George Street: King George IV, who visited Edinburgh in 1822, lies at Hanover Street, the British Prime Minister William Pitt at Frederick Street and the founder of the Free Church, Thomas Chalmers (1780 - 1847) at Castle Street. The first two are by Sir Francis Chantrey, the latter by Sir John Steell (1804-91). A statue of James Clerk Maxwell (1831-79) by Alexander Stoddart (b.1959) was unveiled at the east end of George Street in 2008.